Tag:Alfredo Simon
Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:23 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 10:52 am
 

Pepper: Mets on verge of accepting ownership bid

By Evan Brunell

SO THE TIME HAS COME FOR A NEW OWNER: OK, so technically a new Mets minority owner, but the move could have lasting implications.

Sources say that former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza have been chosen as the preferred bidders for the available stake in the Mets' franchise. The new owners will have a say in the team's finances and path forward, as incumbent owner Fred Wilpon has promised. And if Wilpon is forced to sell the team -- a distinct possibility -- it's likely that Bartoszek and Lanza will emerge as the new owners.

It's unclear how much stake the new owners will receive, but the cost is expected to be around $200 million for up to a 49 percent stake and a deal is extremely close. First, though, negotiations on whether the minority group can purchase a small stake in SportsNet New York has to be ironed out, but could be the necessary final piece for the deal as 49 percent may not be justifiable enough for $200 million given the Mets' debt problems.

Bartoszek previously headed up oil trading for the world's biggest commodity trader, Glencore International, while Lanza is an owner of Carriage House Partners, a private equity firm. (New York Post)

100 PERCENT
: Unsurprisingly, Carlos Beltran disagrees with Fred Wilpon's comments that he's 65-to-70 percent. "I'm 100 percent," Beltran said. And he's playing like it. (Newsday)

FIGGINS SLOWLY IMPROVING
: Chone Figgins has been a shell of his former self since arriving in Seattle, but skipper Eric Wedge thinks things are getting better. "I feel like he's been a little bit more aggressive,'' Wedge said. "I feel like he's starting to make better contact. More firm." It's still way too early to think about Figgins finally delivering on his contract, but any step forward is positive. (Seattle Times)

STREAK SNAPPED
: CC Sabathia hurled a complete game victory Tuesday, coming away with the win. It was his first complete game win since May 8, 2009... and also the first Yankees complete-game winner since. That's the longest streak in AL history for a stretch in-between complete-game wins at 341 games. (New York Daily News)

NEW CLOSER
: Until Andrew Bailey returns, Grant Balfour will be the new closer in Oakland, replacing Brian Fuentes after the flap Fuentes created with his comments Tuesday. Too bad no one let Balfour know. (MLB.com)

ODDITY: Here's something interesting: Curtis Granderson has smacked 16 home runs and four triples, an impressive feat so far. But it's been all or nothing, as his four doubles pop out, a rare occurrence. After all, if you hit for power, you'll have your fair share of doubles. Granderson's doubles account for just one-sixth of his extra base hits, and only two other players in history have more extra-base hits than him with a similar 1/6 ratio of doubles: Mark McGwire in 2001 and Wes Covington in 1957. (Baseball Reference)

ONE MORE: Orioles starter Brian Matusz agrees that he needs one more rehab start, so will pitch for Triple-A on Friday. But after that, he's expected to push to return to the staff for a June 1 start, which will mark his season debut. (MASN Sports)

NEW DODGER: Top prospect Rubby De La Rosa received the call to the majors, surprising the Double-A starting pitcher, who will pitch in relief. While the Dodgers contend his future is in the rotation, de la Rosa was needed to shore up a bullpen besieged by injuries and ineffectiveness. De la Rosa has the talent to emerge as closer in L.A., and the team is still in the postseason hunt, so the promotion does make some sense. (Los Angeles Times)

YER OUTTA HERE! Ned Yost isn't going to get tossed from a game anytime soon -- unless he feels one of his players are being disrespected --  but that will change in coming years. "This is the time, with a young club, that you set the tone," Yost said. "I don't want these guys complaining and moaning. An umpire's call is an umpire's call and it doesn't get changed. It's doesn't do anybody any good to whine or cry about it. So, if I'm yelling, moaning and screaming on every call, naturally they're going to follow my lead. So it's important to me, right now, to accept the umpire's calls. ... But disrespect a player one time and I'm gone." Also in the link: Stories about how the Royals are trying to help those affected by the devastating Joplin, Mo. tornado. (MLB.com)

BRING IT IN: Is it time for the Padres to bring in the fences at Petco Park? Petco has become the anti-Coors Field, and even Coors is no longer an offensive haven thanks to the effects of the humidor. There appears to be a growing groundswell to fix Petco, and it would be as simple as moving the fences in. No one advocates making Petco a hitter's park, but moving the fences in would only even the playing field just a bit -- and that's all one needs. (Rob Neyer)

FIRST WIN: Alfredo Simon nailed his first win of the season thanks to an Adam Jones walk-off home run. A relieved Simon was thrilled after the game as it was his first win since last season. He has been dealing with a murder charge in his native country since the winter and still isn't out of the woods yet. (MASN Sports)

NEW GRIP: Dustin Moseley has been a nice piece of the Padres so far this year, but the righty can't sit on his laurels when there's more to be done. He tweaked his changeup, which earned positive results after Monday's game. (MLB.com)

PATROLLING THE OUTFIELD: Josh Hamilton believes he could start playing the outfield immediately but will be held back until this weekend, where he is expected to return to left field. Once he has several games under his belt, it's possible he could start seeing some time in center. (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram)

BACK TO ACTION: Johan Santana finally stepped back on a mound for the first time since last season and threw 25 pitches. Santana is progressing nicely in his return from surgery and could rejoin the Mets in July. If he pitches strong down the stretch, he could be dealt after the year. (ESPN New York)

A NEW LOU: Lou is back in Chicago, and we're talking Montanez. The former Cubs first-round pick 11 years ago took a detour in Baltimore for four years, but wound up back with the Cubs this season in Triple-A. He finally reached the majors with his original club when tapped yesterday to replace Marlon Byrd on the roster. Montanez made the most of it, notching a RBI double in his first Cubs at-bat. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ON HIS WAY BACK: John Lackey pitched in a bullpen session Tuesday and came through with flying colors, setting him up for a rehab game on May 31 and a return to the Red Sox for June 5's start against the Athletics. (Boston Globe)

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Pepper: Scorching Hafner could hit DL



By Evan Brunell


HAFNER HURT: Indians DH Travis Hafner is hitting like it's 2006, as the oft-injured DH is roaring along at a .345/.409/.549 clip with eight doubles and five home runs in 127 plate appearances.

Sure, that average is over his head, but he's still geared up to have a quality season. It's about time, as Hafner has been one of the game's most overpaid players as he succumbed to injuries following his four-year, $57 million deal signed during the 2007 season. He's been a major reason why Cleveland finds itself in first place, and has helped fend off any type of decline that could have happened once Grady Sizemore hit the disabled list.

Unfortunately, Hafner may be joining Sizemore on the DL with a sore oblique. He was taking swings in the batting cage prior to Wednesday's game when one swing left him unable to swing any more. After being a late scratch, Hafner plans to get the injury checked out Friday with a MRI.

"One of the big things was how it felt [Thursday] morning," said Hafner. "It wasn't worse. That's kind of encouraging."

Obliques are the scourge of baseball these days, and unfortunately for Hafner, he's probably going to have to go on the DL and could be out for a month or more. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

LEYLAND'S BACK
: Jim Leyland still lives in Pittsburgh, but he hasn't been back in the stadium as an opposing manager since 2006, his first year with the Tigers. Leyland, of course, is well known for his 11 years managing the Pirates in the glory days, back when Barry Bonds was manning left field. (MLive.com)

RJM:
A nice story about Ricky Romero and J.P. Arencibia's night on Thursday. Romero went seven strong while J.P. Arencibia crushed a home run that eventually gave the team a 3-1 victory. Both players were reeling from the passing of a two-year-old fan after a battle with leukemia. (Toronto Star)

UNPRECEDENTED:
Jose Bautista's leap from last man on the bench to the best hitter in the game is still tough to wrap one's head around. But it's not the last time such a leap has been made. The closest comparable? Seattle's Bret Boone, who jumped in relevancy from 1999-2001. Of course, the likelihood that Boone used steroids is high, but unless you're really reaching or just hate Bautista/the Blue Jays, the same questions are not there for Bautista. (Fangraphs)

TURNING THE CLOCK BACK:
It's always entertaining to see players wear throwback uniforms. Sometimes these uniforms are preferable to the current set... sometimes they're nice memories or a way of learning more about history. Sometimes, they make us burst out laughing. History's being profiled Saturday when the Red Sox and Cubs wear 1918-era uniforms. (Boston Globe) Here's a look at what you can expect -- the 1918 uniforms of the BoSox and the 1918 road uniforms for the Cubs. And yes, no logo for the Red Sox.

FLIPPING THE BIRD
: Sometimes I wonder if we take ourselves a little too seriously. Andre Ethier, who was slightly irritated with a photographer prior to Monday's game, flipped him the bird before adding the other hand to the equation. Ethier joked about the situation before Thursday's game before issuing a standard mea culpa. "I wasn’t [angry] at all. If you’re going to stand there and take the same picture for 15 minutes, what’s the difference between the first and the 15th minute? It just got kind of annoying. I guess I slipped up, and that temper you guys sometimes like to write about, got ahead of me and I didn’t use my head and use the best judgment in that situation. I made a mistake of it and it’s unfortunate." Don't we have better things to worry about? (Los Angeles Times)

DISLIKED:
Are the Cardinals the most disliked team in baseball? Let's look at the evidence. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WHERE'S ALLIE?
When talking about Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospects (try saying that four times in a row), the conversation invariably turns to Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. Except that Allie is nowhere to be found on the stats pages. That's because he's been at extended spring training, working on his windup and a lack of control. Things have progressed to the point where he is nearing game action. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

LIND ETA:
Adam Lind won't be back with the Blue Jays for at least 10 days and is still a week away from baseball action in his recovery from a sore back. (Sportsnet via Twitter)

WHO'S OUT IN BALTIMORE? When Alfredo Simon returns to the Orioles' bullpen on Sunday, someone's gotta go. Bet on one of Brad Bergesen or Chris Tillman, as Jeff Zrebiec writes. Both -- especially Bergesen -- have been very poor in the rotation and the team can go with four starters for several days because of Brian Matusz's looming return late next week. (Baltimore Sun)

JOHN SMOLTZ RULE: John Smoltz effected a rule change in minor-league baseball while on a rehab assignment with the Red Sox in 2009. Now, major-league pitchers on rehab starts down on the farm can use major-league baseballs in games. (MLBlogs.com)

TWITTER CLOSED: Tony Sanchez closed his Twitter account amid what we thought were the Pirates being too sensitive about players going on Twitter and expressing a personality. However, Sanchez closed his account on his own (although a stern talking-to from the brass didn't help). Sanchez was benched three games for criticizing umpires. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

GOLD: A pretty neat promotion the Angels are putting on in which fans will get an autographed baseball from a player. Those lucky enough to end up with a gold baseball will then get to meet that player and get four tickets to another Angels game. (Orange County Register)

DL-BOUND: Joe Blanton is returning to the DL and will take Shane Victorino with him. The Flyin' Hawaiian has been hobbled the last few days and now the Phillies have decided they can't wait for him to heal much longer. Don't expect Domonic Brown's promotion, as GM Ruben Amaro continues to hold Brown back. (Wonder if it has to do with service time?) Anyways, expect either Delwyn Young or Ronnie Belliard to get the spot. (CSNPhilly.com)

NO MORE TOBACCO: The call to ban all types of tobacco in baseball only got stronger with the Diamondbacks' CEO Ken Kendrick calling for such a ban. (Arizona Republic)

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: May 5, 2011 3:07 pm
 

Simon returns to mound in minors

By Matt Snyder

In his first professional action of the 2011 season, Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon threw five innings for Double-A Bowie Thursday afternoon. He needed 81 pitches to get through the five, giving up six hits, four runs (only three earned), a hit batsman and two wild pitches. He didn't issue a walk while striking out five. Reportedly, his fastball sat in the low-to-mid-90s. (Orioles Insider )

Simon, 29, was the Baltimore closer for a good chunk of last season. He's been away from the club this year due to ongoing legal troubles stemming from an early January arrest. He is alleged to have shot and killed a man in the Domincan Republic and likely facing involuntary manslaughter charges. He's out on bail, but MLB has not allowed the Orioles to do anything with Simon aside from placing him on the restricted list --  meaning he won't be cleared to pitch in the majors until the legal issue has been somehow resolved.

In 2010, Simon had 17 saves in 21 chances with a 4.93 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He had issues with walks and home runs, though the legal troubles make those pale in comparison at this point.

Simon read a prepared statement after the game to the media present. He read in spanish, but here is the english version, courtesy of Orioles Insider :
Today is the day that I'm addressing everyone in my personal and professional life.

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my sport, to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, the owner, general manager, the front office, the coaches, my teammates, sponsors, and the fans, for the recent distraction that my personal circumstances have caused. In time I will address the issue publicly, but I cannot comment on the issue today. I ask for your patience, and understanding, and hope that you will grant me the privacy to deal with the matter appropriately.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here today and would like to thank everyone for their prayers, support and encouragement throughout this difficult process.

I have worked very hard to come back and be a part of this organization and intend to have a positive impact on everyone around me. I realize as an athlete, that it is not only playing the game of baseball that matters, but being a role model both on and off the field is a self-requirement.

Since my arrival back in the US on April 2nd of this year, I have worked hard on improving my game. I am taking this moment in my life to focus on my personal life and my career to prove my love and dedication to this sport.

I have overcome many obstacles in my life to get to where I am today. this difficult situation will only act to motivate me to be a better person, both individually, and as a professional.

There are limits to what I can comment on today. The incident has been a nightmare for me and my family. This process has been a tough learning experience for all involved, and I look forward to putting it behind me.

Again, I would like to apologize to my family and friends, my sport, to the entire Baltimore Orioles organization, the owner, general manager, the front office, the coaches, my teammates, sponsors, and the fans, for anything other than a positive direction that this incident may have caused. I would like to move forward this year and focus on my contribution as a pitcher to this team and our success. I'm ready to get back on the field and do what I love doing most.
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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:01 am
 

Pepper: Advance scouting undergoing change

By Evan Brunell

GAMECHANGER: Technology is awesome. Pretty sure we can all agree on that. But technology also has the unfortunate side effect of throwing things into disarray and causing conflict on what the better option is. Witness the stats vs. scouting issue.

The Royals have dived head-first into technology when it comes to game video, using it as an opportunity to scrub the position known as advance scout. Instead, the scout now works out of Kauffman Stadium and analyzes video.

"After a while, you've just got to accept the fact that I've got more information at my fingertips right now," advance scout Kelly Heath said, "than I could ever get by jumping on a plane and checking in a hotel room and getting a taxi and working on three hours' sleep, and watching a guy in six at-bats or 10 at-bats and trying to make a decision after getting a limited view."

Now, Heath can look at thousands of at-bats spanning years or dial up spring training games to get a look at an opposing team's recent Triple-A callup. That never happened before. The Royals are benefiting financially from this transaction as they no longer need to pay Heath's flight and hotel rooms, but they're also benefiting on the field. The club leads baseball in assists, which is being credited toward the extra knowledge that Heath is bringing in his new role, while K.C.'s hot offense may also be partly due to the new way of doing business.

"You don't need an advance scout anymore, in my opinion," manager Ned Yost added. "You've got everything at your fingertips. Everything I need or we need to see is on the video."

You can bet that other teams will eventually latch on to this. It's a no-brainer: why send someone jet-setting all over the country for six solid months just to get a glimpse of a batter a few times a game (if you're lucky) ? And what if that batter is in a slump? You can't properly evaluate that batter or how to pitch to him in that scenario. That's where video comes in handy. And it sure sounds as if Heath's getting plenty of sleep now.

FOCUSED ON LEHIGH: Domonic Brown knows that Philadelphia is his future, but right now he's worrying about his Triple-A team in Lehigh Valley. Brown recently returned from fracturing his hamate bone and is trying to get back into the swing of things. He should be starting in Philly before long. (Philadelphia Daily News)

SELIG BETTER THAN YOU THINK: Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't exactly inspire confidence when you look at him, but has there been any other influential and more effective leader than Bud has been for baseball? (New York Magazine)

THE SEASON DOESN'T END IN APRIL: In the north side of Chicago, many are wondering if the Cubs' Kosuke Fukudome will continue the trend of scorching Aprils followed by a below-par season or if, finally, this season's hot start proves a harbinger of things to come. (Chicago Tribune)

MCL TORN: Terrible news for the Mets who may have to deal with the loss of top pitching prospect Jenrry Meija for the season after tearing the MCL in his elbow. There's no question that this is a major setback for the team, who were probably counting on Meija being an important part of 2012's rotation. (New York Times)

TACKLED: Wow. Just wow. An inebriated Red Sox fan jumped on the field late in the game in an highly ill-advised move -- after all, police and venues with large crowds are on alert for possible retaliation in Osama bin Laden's death -- and a security guard made that abundantly clear by demolishing the fan with a tackle. (YouTube)

COMEBACK TRAIL: Just over a month ago, Alfredo Simon was in a Dominican Republic jail on charges of murder. While he hasn't been cleared yet, he's getting ready to play in a game again and is expected to start Thursday for Double-A. Yes, start -- the reliever has been converted as the Orioles attempt to build up depth. (Baltimore Sun)

LEGEND GONE: Emilio Navarro passed away Sunday at the age of 105. Don't worry if you don't recognize the name, but Navarro was reportedly the oldest ex-professional baseball player who used to play in the Negro Leagues as the first Puerto Rican to do so. (New York Times)

THE BIG 8-0: Willie Mays is turning 80 years old and feels better than he has in years. (San Francisco Chronicle)

SEE YA NEXT YEAR: Andy Pettite says he's definitely not pitching this season but 2012 is a real possibility. Will the Yankees have moved on by then? (Chicago Tribune)

SEALs: The Pirates visited Navy SEALs on Monday, just a day after Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of fellow SEALs in a pre-arranged visit that received glowing reports from the squad. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

WATCH BASEBALL ON YOUR PHONE: The ability to watch video on one's phone isn't a novel concept anymore, but how crazy is it that we can watch full TV shows, movies or sports games on something that fits in your pocket? MLB is aware of the phenomenon and has a new package with special pricing out for those who want MLB.tv on their phone. (Tuaw.com)

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 10:40 am
 

Matusz nearing return, Simon converted to starter

SimonBy Evan Brunell

The Orioles are no longer at the top of the division, but are only two games under .500 and hoping to dip no lower.

For that to happen, though, Baltimore's got to start having some luck bounce its way as the rotation is missing Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer. Even the emergence of Zach Britton hasn't been enough, but the O's got some good news Thursday when Matusz tossed a bullpen session without restrictions. Now, Matusz is slated to throw a few innings of an extended spring training game on May 7. Assuming the lefty's left intercostal muscle doesn't flare up, another spring game could be in line, or the O's could ship Matusz out on a rehab start. That puts his potential big-league arrival three weeks away. That's eons away when you play a baseball game nearly every day, but Baltimore will take it.

"He's got his schedule, he knows it, each day what he's doing down there. There's two dates if he stays on schedule that he could be there for us," Orioles manager Showalter told the Baltimore Sun. "We've already tweaked it once or twice, but as long as he makes those goals physically, we can adjust it, but not until he gets a couple innings under his belt. I wouldn't say you are starting over, but he hasn't had a ball in his hand for over four weeks, so you got to build his arm strength back up."

Baltimore is seeking starting pitching depth and to that effect have converted reliever Alfredo Simon (pictured) to a starter. Simon closed games at one point last season and was slated to contend for the same job this season, but a murder charge in his native Dominican Republic derailed that. After being released on bond, Simon has been adjusting to his new role in extended spring training and is shaping up to toss five innings in a game Saturday. 

If that goes off without any hitches, he will then be taken off the restricted list -- which will force Baltimore to clear a 40-man spot -- and sent to a minor-league affiliate for further tuning as starter. The Sun says that Simon is in much better shape than usual and there are good reviews on his pitches, so bank on seeing him in Baltimore at some point this year.

Also, the O's are keeping an eye on Kevin Millwood, who pitched for Baltimore last season. Millwood found free agency lacking and only recently inked a minor-league deal with the Yankees. He can exercise an out clause in his contract Sunday if he is not promoted to the majors and New York is not expected to do that. That could put Millwood back on the free agent list for the O's to swoop in.

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Posted on: April 2, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Alfredo Simon arriving in Florida

By Evan Brunell

SimonAlfredo Simon was expected to arrive in Florida Saturday afternoon to begin preparing for the 2011 season as the Baltimore Sun learned.

Simon is on the restricted list as he was jailed for possibly being the shooter that killed one man and injured another on New Year's Day in the Dominican Republic. He was recently freed on bail after being jailed January 3 and it is unclear if he will be charged. The 29-year-old has professed his innocence.

He was able to get a visa to travel to the United States and thus will begun preparations. Simon closed at one point for Baltlmore last season, notching 17 saves in 49 1/3 innings with a 4.93 ERA.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 3, 2011 4:08 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Simon granted bail

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 
Alfredo SimonOrioles reliever Alfredo Simon's request to be released from a Dominican Republic jail on bail has been granted, according to news reports from the Dominican and passed along by the Baltimore Sun.

Simon will be freed from jail as soon as he comes up with $2 million pesos, the equivalent of $53,333. That is expected later today or tomorrow.

It isn't known if Simon will be allowed to leave the country. Simon was denied bail twice before Thursday.

Simon is being held as a prime suspect in the fatal shooting of his cousin, Michael Esteban Castillo Almonte in a New Year's celebration. Simon still has not been charged in the crime.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Orioles' Simon denied bail

Contrary to previous reports, Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon will be staying in a Dominican prison, as a judge has rejected Simon's appeal, the Associated Press reports (via the Baltimore Sun).

According to the AP, Simon remains the "primary suspect" in the New Year's Eve shooting death of his cousin, Michael Esteban Castillo.

Simon appeared before the judge and "seemed frustrated" by the decision to deny him bail.

Simon was placed on the Orioles' restricted list last week to make room for Vladimir Guerrero.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com